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Poet and novelist Audre Lorde said, “We were never meant to survive.” And yet our communities, in the face of rising hate and repression, continue to resist and beat the odds stacked against us.
For communities of color, lower income families and the social movements they fuel, transforming systemic barriers and “beating the odds” in the 21st century demands a fair economy, connected communities, and a political landscape of visibility, voice and power. To achieve this we need a media and technology environment that fuels real justice and mass freedom.
We call that “Media Justice” and recognize this as a crucial moment in our struggle for freedom—freedom from oppression, and the freedom to communicate. Our communities have always faced challenges created by dominant social and economic systems that devalue and marginalize our very existence. Today’s digital age – made more volatile with political unrest, oppressive capitalism, and abuse of power – has made those challenges even greater.
Media Justice exists when fundamental communication rights are widely experienced by everyone. When media and technology close gaps in power, privilege and position. We know, because history is a teacher, that cultural change drives political change. We, the criminalized, the scapegoated and stereotyped, envision sustained and universal access to open, democratic and representative media and technology platforms. Only then can news and popular culture bring about a new reality of racial, economic and gender justice. This is a vision worth fighting for.
We are MediaJustice and we are uniquely suited to fight for and protect communication as a human right in the U.S. We are led by visionary Black and other people of color. We grew out of a legacy of organizing know-how that gives us a practical advantage. Our model to convene and activate a network builds the strength of a movement and catalyzes community capacity to influence media & tech locally. We have cutting edge knowledge of media & tech trends and of political developments that affect people of color and low-income communities. But what makes MediaJustice most ready for this work is our unwavering belief in the dignity of every person. We believe in the unifying power of narratives to capture and convey complexity, beauty and cultural nuances. We believe every person should feel safe and secure to utter their voice. We have a vision of equity and freedom for all people of color and of low-income who are empowered, not enslaved, by media & technology. And we will not stop until that vision is achieved.